The rich like to lecture you about meritocracy
while they slip fat stacks of greasy bills into the hands
of corrupt admissions officers at elite universities.
The rich like to lecture you about hard work
while you put in grueling 12-hour days and they’re out and about
on yachts and pleasure cruises and pristinely groomed golf courses.
The rich like to lecture you about the deserved and the underserved
while they by happenstance inherit great wealth and greater privilege,
while everyone else labors to a bone-weary dullness for scraps and crumbs.
Joseph S. Pete is a Pushcart Prize nominee and Lisagor Award winner who lives outside Chicago and served as an infantryman in Iraq.